Africa in stitches


This project started after a conversation with a check-out assistant at Waitrose on Goswell Road, London.

She admired one of my stitchwork map-based tote bags, into which I had just inserted two microwaveable vegetarian paellas and a bottle of beer.

London in stitches…

She suggested Africa as my next challenge. I told her that Africa holds such a vast number of countries, the task would be huge.

She replied with the idea of doing a map of African rivers, waxing lyrical about the beauty of the Nile. This I took as my cue to head home and start working on it.

Naked African rivers…

I can’t honestly say why I chose to do a T-shirt instead of a cotton tote bag as is usual, but one thing became clear early on. African rivers alone made for quite a boring T-shirt, though one blogger did comment that it looked like a weird human portrait.

To pep it up I added climatic zones in gently contrasting primary colours. The blue Congo river gets a bit lost in the deep green, but I guess that says something about that river and its environment.

Africa, the finished artwork…

The ambition with these mappy stitchwork projects is to graduate to geological maps, which have very sophisticated patterns and colours, but I think next I will do a Hampshire tote bag as a gift for a friend.

More art and craft projects in Artwork Archive.

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